I love the spring each year. It is my favorite time of year. Now some of you are wondering why an Arizonan who has no real winter (we call our winter February–50-60 degree weather and rain) would love Spring so much. Those of you who are reading this from the northern states just got some more snow and are tired of shoveling it out of your driveways. You know all about the springtime when you can take off your coats and galoshes off and try on the shorts that did fit last fall. For you springtime is truly a time for rejoicing.
Here in Arizona, we rejoice about springtime as well, but not the way you northerners do. For us, it is a time of new life. All around us, flowers are in bloom in the deserts as well as in Home Depot. It is also a time for seeing new life emerge in the birds and animals that live in the desert. A couple of days ago Nadine noticed a tree in the back yard and came closer to see what you see below.
There in the fork of the tree was a mourning dove sitting on her nest with two young doves underneath her. New life. Springtime. Spring is a time in Arizona where you begin to see all kinds of animals and birds bring forth their legacy in the form of little ones.
Spring is also a time to observe the birth of bulbs that have been planted in the fall before the winter comes. You might be saying that bulbs can’t grow in Arizona because it is too warm. We have a little cottage in Flagstaff where it not only has months of winter but had a record 200 inches of snow on the mountains this past winter. Two years ago I planted some bulbs and this is the second year where new life peaked through the ground and gave us great joy in eyeing the yellow and white daffodil.
This new life that we experience every spring reminds me of the new life that God talks in His word. Jesus and Nicodemus were talking about the miracles that Jesus was doing and wondered how he did it. Jesus responded to Nicodemus by saying, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb and be born!” Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.'” John 3:3-7
Jesus was talking about new life coming by bring born again spiritually. New birth in Christ happens when we put our trust in the Christ who died on the cross and rose three days later, the Easter celebration. For humans, there is a natural birth that all of us walking on the earth have experiences. The born again that Jesus was talking about is when we put our trust in Him who had victory over death.
On this journey, we all experience new birth of animals and living things which remind us of our own birth. Along this journey, we can experience another birth that opens the door for having fellowship with the God of the universe for all eternity.